LCSD announces additional arrests and suspects wanted in operation targeting online child predators

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO)– The Lexington County Sheriff’s Department says three more men have been arrested and three are wanted in an operation that targets online child predators. This comes after the sheriff’s department announced the arrest of 17 men in connection with this investigation last month.

During this operation, officers say they pretended to be underage teenagers, and they communicated with suspects through apps.

Authorities say the following individuals have been arrested since the initial announcement last month:

  • Thomas Hall (26) of Leesville
    • Criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Wilton McMilllan (45) of Simpsonville
    • Criminal solicitation of a minor
  • Mark Winchell (49) of Savannah, Georgia
    • Attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18
    • Criminal solicitation of a minor
    • Sexual exploitation of a minor

“Three men are still wanted on charges associated with the operation,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said. “We encourage anyone who knows where these men are, or where we might be able to find them, to call Crimestoppers at 888- 274-6372 or use the Crimestoppers app to share that information with us anonymously.”

The sheriff says they are looking for the following three individuals wanted in connection with this investigation:

  • Michael Alexander Najera (23) of Brevard, North Carolina
    • Criminal solicitation of a minor
    • Attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18
    • Sexual exploitation of a minor
  • Hampton Craig Short (30) of Charlotte, North Carolina
    • Criminal solicitation of a minor
    • Attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18
  • Steven Leslie Wright (49) of Holiday, Florida
    • Criminal solicitation of a minor
    • Attempted dissemination of obscene material to a person under 18
    • Sexual exploitation of a minor

“Wright has a Florida address, but we have information indicating he might be in Liberty, South Carolina, in Pickens County,” Koon said. “He’s a previous sex offender who has failed to stay current with our state’s sex offender registry.”

Categories: Lexington, Local News, State